Sunday, 22 March 2015

Wedding dresses, Olympia and Goldhawk Road

I just realised I forgot to post this,  so it's a bit out of date,  but still very relevant,  to me,  anyway!  I will be asking for your advice,  too.

My youngest daughter, H,  lives in London with her fiancé, A. They visited us a couple of weeks ago to celebrate their engagement and look at some wedding venues.  A had asked DH's permission to marry  H when we were in London in January so we were less surprised than she was when he proposed romantically on a beach in Barcelona,  complete with ring.

I decided to visit the Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia as we were meeting A's parents, whom we had never met, for Sunday lunch in Cambridge,  where DD1 stays, the same weekend. I asked H if she'd like to go with me to the show on Saturday. I travelled down the day before and stayed overnight in a hotel close to Olympia;  I couldn't stay with H.

I visited the V&A museum's wedding dresses through the ages exhibition on my own on the Friday afternoon as H was working. I don't know whether she managed to go before it closed.

I've been to the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate twice and to be honest I prefer it. This didn't seem bigger and really lacked seating space.

We looked around and a bought a couple of gadgets - a needle threader which actually worked when I tried it and a depiller. A friend had offered to lend me a magnetic bracelet which she swears by for arthritis but it was too small. I looked at magnetic bracelets at the show but was really put off buying by the vendor's attitude.

I bought a length of silk for the Sewing Workshop blouse
and a length of textured grey jersey,
and some thin grey patterned fabric for me - I forget what it was called. From a designer's range.

Grey and cream polyester voile? 
My daughter fancies a kimono top and we bought a length of jersey for that.
H's kimono jacket fabric;  no pattern chosen yet
It wasn't very late but we'd had enough. H suggested we go to Goldhawk Road as it wasn't far away. She knew I'd be interested. She went for materials when she made herself a tutu for an event  (her only make ever).

We had a look at some wedding silks and laces;  H is getting married next year and has asked me to make her wedding dress!!  Help!! I'm also supposed to be making the two dresses for the bridesmaids and my MOB outfit. Currently I'm on the RTW fast,  who knows about next year,  though. H is very well aware of my limitations.

Goldhawk Road was a revelation!  Fantastic! We looked at three shops. The choice!  The prices! I will certainly return. Or I'll send H! It's quite a distance from where she lives,  though. I bought a length of patterned wool jersey on sale. It's really quite thin with little body.  Not sure what I'll do with it as yet. 

H hasn't yet decided on the style she wants for her dress and that obviously impacts on fabric and on bridesmaid dress style. And of course whether I can even think about making it! She had photos of her wearing two really expensive dresses on her shortlist, which she has just started. One I liked (nearly £6000!! - $9000),  the other I didn't think I could make - and didn't like.

H and I then travelled to Cambridge where DD1 stays. In the meantime DH and DD2 had travelled there too.

DD1 had previously offered her wedding dress to be used or cannibalised but H hadn't been keen. She tried on the dress - and it was beautiful and really suited her, though a bit big particularly in the bodice. H is taller than DD1 and that actually made the dress a better length. I can't show pictures of any of these dresses,  for obvious reasons. H has added this dress to her shortlist and we're taking it back home with us.

H would really like to take up dressmaking. She loved the fabric and the garments she saw.  I have a spare sewing machine but A says they don't have room as their flat its very tiny.

I reckon I need to have an idea of the design H wants for her dress by June. That's a year in advance.  I've looked with her at the Marfy bridal pattern book and have an idea of what she might like - and I believe it's achievable with help from my sewing tutors who have kindly agreed this (though none of them now make wedding dresses due to bridezilla behaviour.)  For me,  I really need to lose a lot of weight - this should act as an incentive,  shouldn't it?  Unfortunately, it hasn't so far. Some suggestions for a nice MOB outfit would be welcome. Weather won't be very warm,  will be changeable, though could be gorgeous - that's weather in this part of the UK. 


  1. You are a wonderful mother!! And congrats on your daughter's engagement!

  2. Gosh you are going to be busy if you make all those....but you do have time, of course......
    Could I direct you to - you will get great help there - just ask questions (and there are no daft ones - and you'll get answers. You will also have a friendly group of people who can become 'family'.
    You will have to register but that's not hard to do.

    1. Thank you. Yes, I have 14 months - it's quite a long engagement. I also have the option to say I can't do it! I did previously register with the Sewing Forum but I'm not sure if my registration is still active. I must check

  3. Firstly, I'm pleased about your D's news. But my goodness, what a lot you will have to do. It won't be easy. As for MOB, I am not able to suggest much here as the codes of dress for English weddings are quite different from here. I would certainly stick to something that you know suits you.

    As for sewing terminology - muslin is used in the U.S., toile in France and here in Australia at Tafe. I tend to use the internet vernacular - wearable muslin! (I'm not sure who coined that!) more as a means of communication than anything else. I tend not to worry about differences in words - you get to know the different terms, much like generic names for drugs.

    1. Thanks, Sarah Liz. There is a lot but my daughter knows I won't take it on if I feel I can't do it. Depends on styles and fabrics.
      As far as things suiting me, I'm in a total muddle!
      I agree about terminology - only a problem when you can't find something in a book under a particular term.


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